Yesterday I was sitting at my picnic table watching the clouds blow in and out of view, cover the sun, release the rays, and tease me with the taste of spring that I anticipated a while ago. Not everything goes how I plan, and I have no control over the weather, so I succumbed to the spotty sunshine, and I chatted with friends and students as people passed through the space. One community member even stopped by with flowers to celebrate Pentecost. I put them in a vase for the passers by to enjoy though I've had to move them inside a couple of times yesterday and today because of the unpredictable strong gusts of wind.
The Holy Spirit is sometimes described as a rushing wind; sometimes the Holy Spirit comes as tongues of fire. Today's message at ACB was about how the Holy Spirit changes people. Anne quoted N. T. Wright wondering about how the first description of the Holy Spirit transforming lives led onlookers to wonder if the disciples were drunk... do people wonder the same thing about Jesus followers today? And if not, is it because the Spirit is moving powerfully in other ways or perhaps because we have quenched the Spirit so much, we're made indistinguishable from the rest of the world.
I'm definitely called crazy because of following Holy Spirit nudges. I was sharing with a couple students Friday night about how I regularly practice different ways of listening to the Holy Spirit and then open handedly hold those messages and promptings to Scripture, the character of God, and share them with other Jesus followers for confirmation. I have no regrets following this method; it's led me much closer to Jesus. I've watched many people back away from me because of my weird prompts to pray for others or speak encouragements to people. Or, you know, move to Germany.
But seriously, bring it on, Holy Spirit. Fill me up again today. What a beautiful celebration of my participation in the body of Christ - I breathe in the Holy Spirit and breathe out active use of my gifts for the edification of those around me. I mentioned months ago about how a student was praying for me and another person and texted me to say that he felt the Holy Spirit gave him the words "patience" and "perseverance" to pray for me and "1 Thessalonians 5:19" for the other person. Ouch. That verse says, "Do not quench the Holy Spirit." This person has, unfortunately, developed a reputation of quenching quite a bit. Here's the beautiful thing: there is always room for repentance in the story of the Christian faith. Jesus says, "I stand at the door and knock." There's an open invitation.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Come like a rushing wind. Come like a raging river. Come transform me to be more like you.
Today's more like Jesus activity: allergy free brownie bites to celebrate a celiac student making hard choices to live healthier (bonus for any other gluten, diary, egg, soy, or nut free community members). I can't think of a better way to spend Pentecost Sunday - wait, I'm going to have dinner with an amazing BFA family later! Life just keeps getting better when I keep my eyes on Jesus.